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Today's Creation Moment

Sep
02
One Smelly Amoeba
Job 9:25-26
"Now my days are swifter than a post: they flee away, they see no good. They are passed away as the swift ships: as the eagle that hasteth to the prey."
Not all dangerous predators can be seen. One of the most dangerous predators in a drop of pond water is Amoeba proteus. This amoeba literally terrorizes its one celled pond mates because they can...
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Those Gifted Red Knots

Psalm 145:15
The eyes of all look expectantly to You, and You give them their food in due season.

Shore birds like the oystercatcher search for buried mollusks by touch. They poke around in the sand, hoping to find a hard shelled mollusk. But if you have ever tried to find something that was hiding where you couldn't see it, you know that this method of looking for something is not very efficient. But another shore bird, the red knot, seems to know just where to find its hidden food.

Scientists observed that the red knot, a type of sandpiper, was seven to eight times more efficient at finding buried food than it would be if it were randomly searching. Red knots, who also search for food by pushing their bills into the sand, did better than those birds who search by touch. The answer didn't come until scientists looked at the red knot's bill under the microscope. On the top of the bill they found tiny pits. Inside the pits they found cells called Herbst corpuscles. Scientists knew that other shorebirds have organs similar to these corpuscles that are used to feel vibrations from wriggling prey. They theorized that the red knot's Herbst corpuscles sense pressure changes in the displaced water under the sand when a mollusk obstructs the water's flow. Next they tested captive birds who were trained to find mollusks in pails of sand. Scientists found that if the sand was dry, the red knots did not do very well. But when the sand was wet, the red knots could indeed find the hidden mollusks.

God's creative nature and divine wisdom has provided His living creatures with a beautiful variety of ways of making their living.

Prayer: 
I praise You, dear Father, for the variety You have given us. Amen.
Notes: 
S.M., New hunting trick explains bird luck, Science News, v.154, p.107.